Calgary (29-22-6) at Los Angeles (19-33-5)
When: Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
Where: Staples Center,
Los Angeles, CA
Time: 10:08 ET | TV: NBCSN
Opening Odds: Calgary -145/5.5
The Los Angeles Kings are on their way to a second consecutive last place finish in the Western Conference, but they have several opportunities to play the spoiler role in a very tight conference race. Next up for the Kings, are the Calgary Flames, who are hanging on to one of the final playoff spots in the West, but are also tied for second place in the Pacific Division, just three points behind the Vancouver Canucks. That’s how tight the race is right now. There’s no doubt that the Kings could be sellers ahead of the trade deadline, with perhaps only star defenseman Drew Doughty untouchable. Doughty is already the all-time scoring leader among defensemen in franchise history. The sell-off began last week with L.A. sending No. 2 goaltender Jack Campbell and forward Kyle Clifford to Toronto for Trevor Moore, the Blue Jackets’ third-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft and a conditional third-round pick in 2021. The Kings are 1-11 in their last 12 games and have scored three goals or less in every single one of those. Calgary continues their four-game road trip after a very successful first two games in which they beat both division rivals San Jose and Vancouver by 6-2 scores. As bad as L.A. is, it’s 2-1 against the Flames this season, although both wins were in October. Calgary took the most recent meeting 4-3 at home on Dec. 7. The Kings had two first-period power-play goals to jump ahead, but the Flames scored the next four. The total has gone under in 15 of the past 21 meetings at Staples Center.
The Flames jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than midway through the first period on Monday in San Jose on goals from Milan Lucic (sixth of year), Tobias Rieder (fourth) and Zac Rinaldo (third). San Jose got to within 3-2 in the second, but the Flames then scored the next three again from Mark Jankowski (third), Matthew Tkachuk (17th) and Mikael Backlund (seventh). Lucic added two assists for his first three-point game of the season and David Rittich made 34 saves. Elias Lindholm extended his point streak to seven games (two goals, five assists) after setting up a goal in each of his last four contests. Backlund has recorded back-to-back multi-point performances to give him five points in his last three games. Calgary will conclude their road trip over in Anaheim tomorrow night.
The Kings are on their second five-game losing streak in a month, losing 4-1 at the New York Rangers on Sunday. The newly-acquired Moore had the lone goal, his fourth of the year and first as a King. Jonathan Quick allowed three goals on 40 shots and is winless over his past eight outings (0-7-1). The former Conn Smythe Trophy winner is having a rough season with an 11-22-3 record, 3.05 GAA and .895 save percentage. L.A. has a league second-worst 2.40 goals per game, but seem to play better versus the Flames. Doughty has recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in the three meetings, while Jeff Carter collected a goal and an assist in the Kings’ 4-1 triumph over the Flames in the second meeting. Kings captain Anze Kopitar has four points (two goals, two assists) against Calgary this season. Los Angeles will remain home for a Thursday tilt with the Florida Panthers before heading back out on the road.
How can you not take Calgary in this one? It does seem too easy considering the Kings can’t score and the Flames have recorded 12 goals in their last two games, but I’m taking it anyway. Calgary by two goals or more.
Pick: Flames -1.5 +190